Daily Debrief March 23rd

A Black Day in Brussels

March 22nd was a black day in Brussels, a black day in Belgium, a black day for Europe.  The carnage and loss of life in Zaventum airport, and at Maalbeek Metro station near the parliament, were horrific, and we stand in sympathy with all those who lost their lives or suffered injuries in these events.  It is particularly shocking that the perpetrators of these crimes appear to imagine that they are acting in the name of their god.

It is also a major concern that ISIS was able to mount this multi-pronged attack in Brussels just a few days after their leading figure in Brussels, Salah Abdeslam, was arrested, and many assumed that their network had been rolled up.

I was already at my desk in the parliament when the first bombs went off at the airport, so I have no first-hand story to tell, and picked up my news as almost everyone else did, through social and mainstream media.  Nonetheless I had many requests for comment from East Midlands regional media through the day.  My staffer Rachael had a closer call, though thank heaven she came through safely.  She was on a train approaching Maalbeek station when she heard a loud bang, although she did not immediately recognise it as a bomb.  Her train stopped in the tunnel, and she and other passengers had to walk back down the tracks and to exit at the previous station.  Naturally she was very shocked, but she gamely continued her journey to the parliament.

There have been many on social media who have angrily insisted that we “should not make political capital out of a tragedy”.  Allison Pearson of the Telegraph was widely attacked for her Tweet: “Brussels, de facto capital of the EU, is also the jihadist capital of Europe. And the Remainers dare to say we’re safer in the EU! #Brexit” (which I personally thought made a very fair point).

Yes of course we should have a proper respect for the victims of the tragedy, but it would be irresponsible not to try to learn the lessons of the event.  The Remainians will argue that close involvement in EU police structures and Europol are vital in the war against terror.  I suggest they’re wrong, for several reasons:

1          To a considerable extent, Europol duplicates facilities available through Interpol

2          Europol is perfectly happy and accustomed to working with police forces in neighbouring countries

3          Despite Europol, there was a clear breakdown in police communication between France and Belgium which allowed prime Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam to slip through border controls and escape from Paris to Brussels, where he was arrested only recently.

The fact is that Schengen and open borders have brought terrorism to our doorstep.  You cannot have security with open borders.  You cannot fight terrorism with free movement of Jihadists and Kalashnikovs.

Meantime a Telegraph headline reads “‘Questioning EU’s open borders is inappropriate’, says Cameron”.  Sorry Dave.  It’s not just appropriate.  It’s essential.

Major snag for EU Referendum date

On a lighter note, a major snag has arisen with the date of the EU Referendum, June 23rd.  It clashes with the Glastonbury Festival, scheduled from June 22nd to 26th.  This could keep thousands away from the polling booths.  But in a responsible and public-spirited gesture, the organisers have urged Festival-goers to plan ahead and get their postal votes registered.  Good advice for all who’re planning an early summer break, whether or not in Glastonbury.

Ed Miliband to bat for Labour in EU Referendum

Ed Miliband has come out fighting for the Remain Campaign in the Labour Party.  Whether that will represent an asset, in overall terms, to the Remain side remains to be seen.  Indeed we now have two former Labour Leaders, Miliband and Blair, both committed to Remain, yet both rather damaged goods.

It’s really rather sad that those campaigning to stay in the EU seem forced to talk their country down.  Miliband said it is “simply a fantasy” to suggest the UK could confront “the great causes of the 21st century” outside the EU.

Basically they saying we’re just not good enough, not strong enough, not big enough to manage by ourselves.  But hang on a minute.  There are best part of 200 countries in the world, and we have the fifth largest economy – and we’re “not big enough to confront the great causes etc etc?”.  If so, then practically no one is.  Do you hear Switzerland or Singapore whining that they’re too small to cope in the modern world? No you don’t.  They have a bit more sense, and a bit more self-confidence.  And maybe we’d have more confidence without the Moaning Minnies in the Remain Camp.

And of course we won’t be “on our own”.  We’ll be permanent members of the UN Security Council.  On the G7 and the G20.  NATO. The Commonwealth.  The OECD.  The OSCE.  The WTO.  The World Bank.  We will address the world’s problems with our allies, and we are very strongly placed to do so.  So let’s show some back-bone.  Of course we’re big enough.  Of course we’re good enough.  Let’s get out there and say so.



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25 Responses to Daily Debrief March 23rd

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    On the subject of Tory Inners then Remainers…the MEP type. I read this at G. Fawkes::

    “Guido hears there are moves afoot by angry Conservative associations to change the rules so they can more easily deselect Europhile MEPs. Local Tories are fed up with Brussels careerists who have been on the gravy train for years, flirting with backing Brexit to curry favour with the grassroots, then backing Remain. Tory sources point to the likes of Ashley Fox and Vicky Ford, who spent the last year flexing her Eurosceptic muscles before coming out for In. The current rules give sitting MEPs privilege over new candidates when European election lists are drawn up, making it nigh on impossible to unseat an incumbent. Tory plotters want to open up the process so all MEPs face reselection on an equal footing with new Eurosceptic candidates.”


    That appears to fit in with Tory Association anger that has surfaced of late. Not that I inhabit such domains, so don’t know. Although they did knock off Tim Yeo in the Energy troughing department a while back.

  2. PJ says:

    Three thimgs stand out in this report Roger:
    a)… The events in Brussels are a clear indication that Merkel & Co have made the most horrendous national safety decisions of the last 70 years by following the thinkings of globalists like Soros (who should simply be placed in a refuge out of sight & mind) to be put into practice..
    b)… Allison Pearson of the Telegraph was widely attacked for her Tweet: “Brussels, de facto capital of the EU, is also the jihadist capital of Europe. And the Remainers dare to say we’re safer in the EU! #Brexit” SHE GOT IT ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON!
    3)… As the 5TH largest economy in the world we DO NOT need the EU (in all it’s corrupt glory [sic]) as we are quite capable of running our own affairs.
    I find it incredible that many people railed against Mr Farage for stating the obvious; ie that had they not employed Schengen, borders would not be open to allow these Islamic fruitcakes to roam freely across Europe spreading their death & fear amongst Christian people. Open borders are the biggest single threat to any nations stability which is exactly why we need to vote OUT in June!

    • catweazle666 says:

      “As the 5TH largest economy in the world…”

      And the World’s fourth most powerful military…

      Yes, I think we can probably cope very well indeed if we unshackle ourselves from the putrefying corpse of the EUSSR “Great Experiment”.

  3. Pingback: Explosions Hit Brussels Airport, One Killed - Belgian Media

  4. foxbarn says:

    Excellent again. An Australian has produced this very good video on the carbon emissions scam, worth a look…

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Mandelson – Rose Flyer Alert

    Just got the “Britain Stronger In Europe” flyer through the post today. Nearly binned it with the general daily pizza and buy our usual junk trash mail. Wife grabbed it and complained…”who the hell is this from”. Not obvious without the internet.

    Its this gang largely:


    So you will know immediately that it does not make sense? Bin!

  6. mike5262015 says:


  7. Shieldsman says:

    The Guardian has – Ed Miliband warns voters against Brexit ‘free market experiment’

    What is he on about ? Like all the other political has beens he should not be allowed out.
    Labour and the Trade Union leadership (Francis O’Grady) are stuck in a time warp. He suggests leaving the EU would remove the protection for workers’ rights that comes with membership, allowing future Tory governments to unleash a “race to the bottom”.

    They are obsessed with the Working Time Directive, but do not seem to understand that being an Act of Parliament it is highly unlikely that any Government could repeal it. Labour could actually return to power.
    Darren Newman: There is a tremendous amount of confusion about what the ‘opt-out’ secured by John Major in negotiating the Maastricht Treaty actually did. In fact its scope was always limited and did not have a huge impact on the way in which Europe influenced UK employment law. Most of the ‘big’ employment law areas of the UK were already agreed – unanimously- under previous Treaty provisions. Directives dealing with Equal pay, Pregnancy, Transfer of Undertakings, health and safety, and collective redundancies continued to apply to the UK throughout the period of the so-called ‘opt-out’.

    When Cameron said the EU is not working he should have qualified that statement. It may work for the political elite but not for the General Public.

    Miliband should look at how the EU affects the very people Labour and the Unions are supposed to serve.
    #noTTIP is a very large group representing the Unions and the political left, they will not be served by staying in the EU.
    Trade unionists Against the European Union (tuaeu.co.uk) are fighting to get out of the EU prison house.
    Both Miliband and Cooper made major speeches before the General Election on immigration.
    Miliband -“Labour got it wrong in the past. We have listened. We have learned. And we have changed.
    It is not prejudiced to be concerned about immigration.
    I’ve been very clear about the mistakes the last Labour government has made.
    We were wrong not to ensure there were maximum transitional controls when new countries joined the European Union in 2004.
    And the reason we were wrong is that working people were seeing dramatic changes in their communities that were not planned or properly prepared for.
    We won’t make that mistake in future.”

    Cooper also spouted a lot of fine words but neither had a plan to counter unrestricted migration and residency by the citizens of member states, under article 45.
    The only way possible by leaving the EU is a bridge too far for them.
    The Trade Unionist and the Labour voter have it in their own hands.

  8. Jane Davies says:

    “Basically they saying we’re just not good enough, not strong enough, not big enough to manage by ourselves.”
    What they really mean is the caliber of the present politicians who inhabit the Labour and Conservative parties are not good enough. This is why an election is going to be needed asap. After Brexit we need UKIP to take the country back and make Britain great again.

  9. fedz08 says:

    This is going to upset a lot of people and more ammo for the Brexit campaign:
    Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has tonight called for an historic visa agreement between European nations and America to be torn up following the horrific Brussels bombings.


  10. davidbuckingham says:

    Why Brussels? Being the capital of the EU hence imbued with the symbolism so beloved by Islam – like the twin towers on 9/11 – it is the softest easiest underbelly of Europe to target – with that great pragmatic accommodation from way back :

    Eye-watering article in The Times today… the roots of Islamic radicalism in Belgium are traced back to a 1967 deal between King Baudouin of Belgium and Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal allowing radical Salafist clerics to preach in the country.

    They were given the Great Mosque of Brussels as part of a (jolly) deal to secure oil contracts for Belgian companies – good old mercantilist / fascisti / cronyism. Given a 99 year rent free lease on a disused oriental pavilion (can’t make it up) – opened in 1978. It doesn’t appear to be in Molenbeek but then now it doesn’t need to be because there seem to be a proliferation of “mosquees” all over Brussels – nice bit of irony is that this particular oriental pavilion was designed by a Belgian architect Van Humbeeck in “the islamic style” – shades of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead – when the Ottomans and Belgians just wanted to have some fun – 1879. Come to think of it I seem to remember the Belgian Empire didn’t exactly cover itself in glory in its treatment of indigenous populations.

    Seems a combination of ostrich / pragmatism and utter contempt for ideas and philosophy – with some serious brainwashing from birth thrown in.

    Anecdotally round the corner in west London we’ve got a King Fahad Academy, set up by the Al Saud family ( rulers of Saudi Arabia ) . It was investigated a few years back because in one of their textbooks other religions were described as worthless and their adherents as repugnant pigs and monkeys etc – they got the first bit right – but the school is still up and running, like the oil – from the Saudi Oyal Family. Wonder who’ll be next?

  11. Jane Davies says:

    Listened to a security “expert” based in Brussels on the radio this morning, CBC Canada, and she was saying that unlike the UK the EU doesn’t have a centralised anti terrorist organisation and so these attacks are bound to happen as each country within the EU has their own set up and they fail to work together, in other words do not pass on their intelligence, and terrorists move freely with the open borders policy.
    This is utter madness, the rest of the world must think the EU is “run” by idiots to have not anticipated that this would happen. I do my bit to spread the word that it, the EU, is indeed run by idiots just so as to remove any doubt!
    Just thank goodness that the UK is an island and has MI5 and MI6…..

  12. davidbuckingham says:

    Just had Bernard-Henry Levi saying he sees Brexit as part of what could be the start of the death of Europe, particularly the collapse of its economy. EUROPE not distinguished, yet again, even by a philosopher this time, who’s supposed to be meticulous with his concepts, from the EU.

    He thinks it would be the start of the dissolution and final death of a complacent EUROPE that thought it would go on forever. By not making the EU/EUROPE distinction he denies the possibility that a) the EU could be contributing to EUROPE’s demise and b) EUROPE without the EU, as independent cooperating nations, could be safer and richer once it sheds the stifling burden of bureaucratic, regulatory, corrupt and anti-democratic EU structures, which so much of the rest of the world is managing without more and more.
    Discussing the EU he appears to be an economic determinist without considering the power of ideas. Discussing ISIS however he says their State, HQ and Brain has to be destroyed, fatally wounding the new phenomenon of an unholy alliance : a terrorist state combined with non-state terrorism which exists now.

    Michael Fallon has also been on a few times plus Lord Falconer, repeating the mantra that UK security will be fatally compromised with Brexit – cooperation of all sorts will be uniquely straight-jacketed if we try to operate like every other non-EU country in the world. Finger-printing etc will take weeks instead of minutes – a security info cocktail known as PROM? Dan Hannan was struggling on Newsnight in his criticism of the ECJ. Roger can you spell out your rebuttal of these new and old specifics?

  13. davidbuckingham says:

    A teacher who twittered his pupils’ celebrating the Brussels bombing was told by police to stop the twitter. Brussels is a moral vacuum – tolerating the intolerant – the sleepwalking, multicultural, morally equivalent capital of the EU. There’s a very good book about the buildup to the first world war called Sleepwalkers, by Christopher Clark.

  14. davidbuckingham says:

    apologies for the apostrophe…!

  15. “to imagine that they are acting in the name of their god”

    This is not theologically correct, Mr Helmer!
    Allah and Hashem and God the Father are all the same person.
    I would like to remind you that God is God whoever is worshipping Him!
    Even theologically illiterate self immolators.

  16. Anyoldiron says:

    Sovereign State

    It was not meant to be that this British Isle,
    Be subservient to others, acquiescent, servile,
    Those generations past, such sacrifice made,
    Past glories? Ah gone are the brave.

    That this Fair Isle remains forever free,
    Esoteric meanings while amity is the key,
    Would omnipotent Parliament be laid to rest?
    Or treasonous treaties put to the test?

  17. Anyoldiron says:

    It is your Future foxbarn, it truly is up to this present generation to decide what to do. My Generation went through that last WAR and yes, we, as a family were indeed bombed out. We were completely unprepared in that last war-but we had to fight rather than have Hitler as leader. Remember after that war, we saw the opening of Concentration Camps, and especially the opening of BELSEN-I have never,never, never forgoten that and what man can do and did to their gellow man. So many gave their lives for our FREEDOM.

    • foxbarn says:

      Just came up on Times online that the Brussels bombers were trying to get hold of radioactive material for a dirty bomb. Such a disgusting thing would change everything, they’re mad enough to do it. Then we’d have to take this whole thing very seriously.

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